Understanding the Popularity of Massive Online Open Courses
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Understanding the Popularity of Massive Online Open Courses

Jan 12, 2017

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have attracted millions of people around the world. Harvard Business Review has put the number of MOOC enrollees at over 25 million and Class Central, a website that promotes MOOCs, has the figure even higher at 35 million. These statistics both tell the same story: Taking a massive online course is massively popular! You can become a MOOC enrollee yourself by registering for TOEFL® Test Preparation: The Insider’s Guide, which starts January 25th.

Who is enrolling in MOOCs

Are you curious about who is taking MOOCs? According to Harvard Business Review, one survey of 52,000 respondents who completed a MOOC course found the following:

  • 58% were male
  • 58% were employed full-time
  • 22% were students
  • 83% had at least a bachelor's degree
  • 65% were from outside the United States


Why people take these online courses

The most common reason that people sign up for a MOOC is for career benefits. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed reported that they enrolled to find a new job, start a business, get a raise or improve their current job skills. Of those surveyed, 87% reported that completing the course did, in fact, help with their career.  The other large group of MOOC enrollees are those who have academic goals. Of this group, 88% reported that they have earned college prerequisite credits, thanks to the MOOC course that they completed. Also, 87% reported that the course helped them gain knowledge in a specific area or field. 


Whether you are thinking about the long-term career benefits of learning English or you are focused on your study abroad journey, the TOEFL® MOOC can help you work toward your goals. While the course is free, you may want to consider paying US$49.00 for a verified certificate. According to U.S. News & World Report, learners who enrolled in edX® MOOCs and opted for a certificate had a completion rate that was 10 times higher than those who did not receive a certificate. If you would like to learn about specific reasons for enrolling in the TOEFL® MOOC, read our blog article here.

Join the millions of people worldwide who are taking MOOCs for educational benefits—and to boost their career potential. Sign up for the TOEFL® MOOC here, which starts January 25th!